We are continuing with our battles over screen time.
Last night R is throwing a weepy tantrum at not getting the remote.
I lose my temper and tell him in a loud voice that I am disappointed with him.
I sensibly know that I am at the limit of my patience and go off to finish the movie “Secret Life of Bees” with DH.
The movie is all about a young girl’s desperate desire to connect with her dead mother and feel loved.
“There is a big hole in my heart where my mother’s love should have been,” the protagonist says.
It occurs to me that a large part of the literature is devoted to the mother’s love.
Never to what the child gives to the parent.
Perhaps it’s because the books are written by the adults.
In this story, ironically, it’s the love hungry child that seems full of love.
Last year, when I was looking for an Autism sticker, I found there is such a huge preponderance of stickers that say simply “Autism awareness” and many that say ” I love someone with Autism.”
It seems especially the literature of Autism is focused on the mother’s great devotion and love.
Always from the mother’s side it seems that there is the love, the devotion, the desperate search for help for her child.
And from the child’s side, there are merely the special needs.
The autistic child’s role only to receive, never to give
Surely a mother’s love is a wondrous thing.
But what about the child’s love?
Last evening after our tantrum, R plays by himself for a while.
When I go back upstairs up and apologise for yelling, R holds my face in his hands, kisses me, and says simply “Shee Ma ” (sleep with Mama).
Here is all he wants from his bad-tempered mother:
That I should be the one to put him to bed.
I have never been loved quite this deeply and unconditionally before.
Been the center of someone’s world quite like this.
Pure love with no grudges ever.
Here is a picture of me and R from 4 years ago before I knew about all the things that would happen to us.
I wish I could tell the younger K:
It’s not going to be what you think.
It will be hard.
But it will also be gorgeous.
While this statement is a truth, “I love someone with Autism,”
The charming corollary that has blessed my life, is that
Someone with Autism loves me.
Here is to the special love we get from our special kids.
About the Author: K is the mother of a six-year-old boy with autism and apraxia. This piece first appeared on her blog, Floortime Lite Mama, and is reprinted here by permission.